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You've gotten stuck by a needle or splashed with some type of body fluid. You followed post-exposure protocol by calling 5-STIX and being seen by the medical staff in the Occupational Injury Clinic. The situation is under control... then why do you feel so out of control?

The fact of the matter is that you just went through a crisis situation and you either clicked into auto-drive or someone guided you through the right channels to deal with the crisis appropriately. But now that the medical crisis has been dealt w ith, you might start to become more aware of the emotional side of the crisis.

After something as scary as possibly being exposed to HIV or Hepatitis, you're bound to have an emotional crisis response. You might be afraid to tell your family, friends, and coworkers. You might feel all alone... but you're not.

Like you, many other people have had exposures such as your's, and one thing you need to know is that everyone reacts differently. Sometime people feel angry, nervous, or depressed. Others become irritable, tearful, or withdrawn. Accidents like this can affect your work satisfaction and performance, your physical and mental health, and your relationships with others. Often times spouses, roommates, or sexual partners have questions that you might not know how to answer.

In conjunction with the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP), the Occupational Health Clinic is now offering free and confidential post-exposure support and follow-up emotional counseling. You can meet individually with a FASAP clinician to discuss these and other concerns you might have about the accident and it's aftereffects. You can also participate in the on-going "Post-Exposure Support Group" to talk with other people who are going through some of the same things as you .

For more information & to schedule an appointment, call FASAP at 955-1220.

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This document was last modified on Thursday, February 17, 2000 15:34:50